By Musasizi Isaac & URN
KAMPALA-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: The Uganda Police Force Deputy Inspector General (DIGP) Maj Gen Paul Lokech has declared a-shoot-to-kill operation where suspected criminal gangsters will threaten operatives.
“We shall have no alternative than putting you out of action,” Lokech said during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
His comments came as a second suspect in the double killing of Brenda Nantongo and Haruna Kayondo was killed. The duo lost their lives in the shoot-out where assailants attempted to assassinate former Chief of Defense Forces and now minister of Works and Transport Katumba Wamala on June 1.
Lokech said a second suspect Kawawa Ramadan alias Amin in the June 1 attempted assassination of Gen Edward Katumba Wamala has been shot dead. Newsday had earlier on Friday reported that three suspects had been killed but this has now been updated to suit Lokech’s narrative.
“We wish to further inform the public, that we have registered more success after recovering the second killer gun from Namuwongo. We have now recovered the two suspected killer guns, four motorcycles used in the planning, preparation and execution of the many plots, bomb making materials, Al-Qaeda training manuals, several Western Union transfer receipts with foreign funders,” Lokech said.
HE said that the suspects who cooperating with the team of investigators, led them to Serwadda Juma, a Chapat seller in Namuwongo who also led the team to the home of Juma Saidi, a bodaboda rider, located in Namuwongo-Kanyogoga village, Bukasa Parish, Kampala City.
“Upon arrest, Juma Saidi, who acts as a custodian of the weapons by the terror group, led the team to his poultry house, and removed two guns and a pistol, that he had wrapped in a polythene bag and strategically buried underneath the ground,” Lokech said.
The recovered guns had been transferred from Kisasi to Nansana, Kawanda and then Namuwongo-Kanyogoga, clearly showing how active the domestic terror cell was, police said.
T-shirts used in surveillance, mobile phones and an assortment of other exhibits and a pistol was also recovered.
The above mentioned exhibits and evidence gathered from witnesses, both public and private CCTV footages, and Forensic Analysis is very consistent with acts of domestic terrorism and extremism.
The suspects are being charged with terrorism and the aggravated robberies committed at Nansana Cheap hardware stores, the Robbery and Murder at Ntake Bakery Kalerwe, as well as the Robbery and Murder at Mpererwe Supermarket.
Police said an expansive investigation and operations is continuing to stop all domestic terror cells and the remaining to ensure remnants identified and brought to book.
Public question killings
On Thursday Lokech said that a Prime suspect Hussein Lubwama aka Master was shot dead when he attempted to fight the forces. He said that Master was the person who shot several bullets on the right side of Katumba’s military vehicle leaving Nantongo and Kayondo dead.
On Friday’s Lokech however contradicted himself when he said, Master, before he was shot dead, had revealed that he had given the gun to Kasambira Siriman aka Mukwasi. This raises questions of how a suspect who allegedly fought forces arresting him to the extent of being shot dead, shared such information about who was hiding the gun.
Although Lokech insists that Amin was killed at around 8 am on Friday while fleeing from Said’s home, security sources had revealed by yesterday evening that two suspects had been shot dead after the vital information had been extracted from them.
But Lokech maintains the narrative that Master’s information helped to arrest Mukwasi who later revealed that he had also handed over the gun to Amin. Amin, who is now dead, according to Lokech, first took them to Kagoma, then Nansana until Mukwasi convinced him to reveal where the guns were being hidden.
“Upon arrest, Mukwasi claimed that somebody called Amin had picked the guns from him. Amin stayed in Maganjo B LC I. Upon the arrest of Amin, he claimed that he had surrendered the gun to Juma Sserwadda, a chapati seller in Namuwongo. Amin first took us to Kagoma, he came back to Nansana, and at around 1:47 pm, he revealed Juma Sserwadda. This was after Mukwasi pushed Amin to tell us where the guns were,” Lokech said.
But many Ugandans voiced concern over why suspects could be killed without trial. During his comments about Gen Katumba Wamala’s attempted assassination, President Museveni expressed displeasure about court freeing suspected criminals.
Guns in poultry house
The investigating team proceeded to Namuwongo and arrested Sserwadda who reportedly named Said as the person who was hiding the gun. Sserwadda led the investigators to Said’s home in Kanyogoga in the same vicinity near the railway line, where he was found with his family in a two-bedroom house.
Said allegedly led the forces to the poultry house where he was keeping the guns in a hole dug inside. Lokech exhibited two SMG rifles and a pistol allegedly recovered from Said’s house. Security says the directorate of forensic science headed by Andrew Mubiru has since analyzed the bullet casings which match with those recovered from Maj Muhammad Kiggundu and former police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi murder scenes.
Maj Kiggundu was shot dead at around 6:50 am on November 26, 2016, at Masanafu, Lubaga division in Kampala while Kaweesi was assassinated on March 17, 2017, at around 9 am at Kulambiro road, in Nakawa division in Kampala. Kaweesi’s bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver, Godfrey Mambewa were also killed in the attack.
“What is our finding of Juma Said. Our team continued to protect the scene. They continued searching the area. As I was coming to brief you, we have now known that the rider who was riding Master in an orange jacket was Juma Said. We found the jacket and helmet in the ceiling,” Lokech said.
Gen Lokech links all the suspects in the Katumba attack and the killings of Maj Kiggundu and Kaweesi to a rebel ADF terror cell commanded by one Sheikh Abudin Hubaida Taheel Bukenya allegedly on the run.
But security has not satisfactorily answered the question of why two vital unarmed suspects who could have been vital in revealing more information have been shot dead instead of shooting to maim.
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